Former U.S. HUD Secretary and Presidential Cabinet Member Marcia L. Fudge Joins Taft

May 13, 2024 – Taft is pleased to announce that Marcia L. Fudge will join the firm as a Partner and its firmwide Chair of Public Policy after serving in President Joe Biden’s Cabinet as the 18th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Former Secretary Fudge is the second African American woman to lead HUD, having steered the agency through a housing crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former Secretary Fudge will dedicate a portion of her time to the firm’s ongoing efforts to combat the harmful effects of forever chemicals. Her significant experience and outstanding reputation will be invaluable to Taft’s clients, while also bolstering the firm’s relationships with governmental and corporate leaders both in her home state of Ohio and across the United States.

“My top priority as a leader has always been to develop effective solutions and results for the people and communities I have been called to serve. In my transition to life as a private citizen and attorney, it was important for me to land among professionals who are similarly dedicated to solutions-driven work. Taft’s core values, culture, leadership principles, and commitment to its clients strongly align with my personal values, as does its modern approach to service. I greatly look forward to collaborating with my new colleagues in my role as Partner and Chair of Public Policy, which I am honored will allow me to return to my roots in Ohio, and maintain a strong presence in Washington, D.C.,” said Fudge.

“I am personally very proud and excited for Taft with this announcement. Bringing someone of Secretary Fudge’s stature and caliber is highly strategic for Taft. She is a tremendous leader with an astute vision, impeccable integrity, and a deep passion for serving our nation’s communities. Taft is very fortunate that she has selected this as her professional home. Secretary Fudge’s service-oriented leadership and vast experience will have an extremely positive impact on our clients and the communities we serve,” said Taft Chairman and Managing Partner Robert J. Hicks.

Former Secretary Fudge has deep roots in Ohio, having begun her career in public service in the Cuyahoga County, Ohio Prosecutor’s Office and having served as the first woman and first African American person elected Mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio. From 2008 until 2021, former Secretary Fudge served as the U.S. Representative for the 11th Congressional District of Ohio. She is also a former national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, one of the nation's largest African American sororities, and a past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, or the CBC. It was there that she worked closely with Lacy M. Johnson, Partner-in-Charge of Taft’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of President Biden’s Export Council.

“It is an honor and privilege to welcome Secretary Fudge to Taft. What she has achieved in her career is inspirational, and her presence at Taft will be highly impactful for our clients and teams. On a personal level, I know firsthand that she is a great leader, who is insightful and collaborative in everything she does. Secretary Fudge knows how to bring people together – often with disparate viewpoints and experiences – to accomplish goals and to serve the common good,” Johnson said.

After being courted by other major law firms and corporations, she was drawn to Taft as the result of the firm’s strong Ohio presence and roots, successful growth strategy and track record, culture, standards of excellence, and most specifically, her long-time and trusted relationship with Johnson.

As part of former Secretary Fudge’s extended team, Imani Edwards (based in Taft Cleveland) and Garrett McDaniel (based in Taft Washington, D.C.) each will join Taft as a director of public affairs. Former Secretary Fudge will also play an important role in recruiting additional top legal talent to Taft.

Former Secretary Fudge earned her bachelor’s degree in business from The Ohio State University and her law degree from the Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall School of Law.

Ranked in the prestigious Am Law 100 as the 83rd largest firm in the U.S. in 2024 by revenue, Taft has approximately 875 attorneys spread across nine major markets – eight in the Midwest (Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis) as well as Washington, D.C. The firm has grown its lawyer headcount by 250% and revenues by 325% since 2017, which led to being recognized by Am Law 100 as the nation’s fastest growing law firm in 2022. As a result, Taft is now approximately the 50th largest law firm in the U.S. by lawyer headcount.

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